Man Falls from Icy Bridge

Man was trying to assist crash victims on Westmoreland Road bridge

A Duncanville man fell to his death while trying to escape an ongoing vehicle on the icy Westmoreland Road bridge.

Police told relatives Matthew Penelle Jr. got out of his vehicle on the wreck-clogged southbound side of the bridge to help other crash victims. He apparently tried to jump to the northbound bridge to avoid an oncoming vehicle, but fell through the two-foot gap between the bridges to the ground below.

"If there was somebody in trouble, he was out there to help," said his mother, Felicitas Martinez.

Penelle, who was separated from his wife in Duncanville, was staying with his mother in Oak Cliff. He took an alternate route home Tuesday night to avoid clogged freeways in the ice storm.

"He called me and said that he was going to be late because he was stuck in traffic," Martinez said. "The next thing I know, police are knocking on my door, telling me that he died, he fell."

Penelle, 41, had three children.

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